Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October Already?

Aloha Tower Waterfront, Downtown Honolulu

Returning late friday evening from what felt like a successful three days of making the rounds to all the Oahu agencies & publications, showing the portfolio and putting in long overdue and essential face-time. Many thanks to all of those that entertained me in their well appointed, comfortable and well air-conditioned conference rooms. There were many that I had the opportunity to meet with that previously I knew only from telephone conversations & email and many new names & faces that graciously took time to review the work and offer positive feedback.

Oahu is a very different beast from the laid-back Maui lifestyle - the downtown districts filled with serious looking, well dressed business folks running to & fro, working their smart phones & crackberries, focused & for the most part, unsmiling. And then there's the traffic and utter lack of affordable, cheap parking anywhere in the downtown district... the closer you get to the Chinatown end of things, the more expensive the parking, it seemed. The noise of traffic, sirens, car horns (something relatively unheard of back here on the Valley Isle), building air-con units, all echoing & amplified within the man-made canyons of concrete & glass always leaves me a bit unsettled, me having abandoned urban dwelling nearly 30 years previously.

Still, I found the intense activity to be inspiring... and there's is some wonderful architecture in the downtown area... old brick low-rise office buildings with beautiful polished wood paneling, trim, marble staircases and glorious old brass elevators to enormous monuments of human engineering that reach skyward. 

Most of my activity was centered around a 4 block corridor in the Bishop Street-Chinatown area... the home of almost all the big ad agencies & public relations/marketing firms. There were also appointments at resort HQ's in Waikiki, publications in Kaimuki & Manoa and a couple of funky design shops located in the Kakaako industrial section of town. Evenings were spent eating, conversing and crashing at the home of an old friend living in the shadow of Diamond Head Crater in Kaimuki, just above Kapiolani Park, just a stones thow and another world away from the frenzied activity of Waikiki.

One of the publications visited during the stay sent me a text on friday morning asking if I was still in town and could I shoot an assignment for them before heading to the airport on friday evening? You betcha!

The afternoons and evenings during my stay saw heavy downpours, even some thunder, which only added to the sweltering humidity common in the islands this time of year. From the heat & humid conditions of the street into frigid offices and back into the steam repeatedly over the course of three days, I returned to Maui with a vicious head cold. As soon as I returned home friday night, I climbed into bed and stayed there until mid-day on Saturday. 

When I woke, I remotely checked messages on the studio answering service, only to find a call from Erin of The Throwdowns. The band had rented the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater for three days to record drum-tracks for the new recording... looking for that "big-room" sound. I think they got it. Grabbing cameras, I jumped in the car, sped down the mountain and arrived at the stage just before the band was wrapping things up and just in time to document that portion of the recording process.

The Throwdowns @ MACC's Castle Theater

There was also a fresh email in my inbox from one of the big agencies requesting stock images seen in my portfolio to be used for an advertising campaign, a call from the Oahu Architect responsible for actor Richard Chamberlain's beautiful Maui beachfront home, assigning a second architectural shoot of the property. There were also a few prints to be made and framed work to be packed-up both at home & in the studio to begin my weekly gallery sittings at the resort artists-in-residence program which began this monday past.

Sunday was spent filling the stock request... uploading images to the agency .ftp site & preparing the gallery work. Monday was spent sitting the resort gallery, sending follow-up thank-you emails to all those that took the time to see me in Honolulu & updating the client data-base with the names & contact info for all those new creatives that I was able to meet.

A couple of corporate head-shots fill this afternoon's calendar and the rest of the week will be spent preparing images for my new stock agency, Photo Resource Hawaii.

After months of far too much free-time & thumb-twiddling, the month of October has begun with a bang!

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